Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011)

DVD Cover (Walt Disney Studios)
Genres / Traits: Adventure, Adventure Comedy, Costume Adventure, Fantasy, Fantasy Adventure, Sea Adventure, Swashbuckler, Pirates, 3-D
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Rob Marshall Rob Marshall
Johnny Depp Johnny Depp
PenÚlope Cruz PenÚlope Cruz
Geoffrey Rush Geoffrey Rush
Ian McShane Ian McShane
Kevin McNally Kevin McNally
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Pirates Of The Caribbean
> Pirates Of The Caribbean: The... (2003)
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> Pirates Of The Caribbean: On... (2011)

6.6 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Crispy
Added: January 23, 2012
After At World's End, a lot of people thought the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise had come to a very successful close. While everything was wrapped up beautifully, I was sad to see Jack's reign come to an end. Should have known better than to expect a profitable franchise go down without squeezing the blood from the stone.

As we were contemplating the pros and cons of another movie, Captain Jack Sparrow has spent those four years searching in vain for the famed Fountain of Youth. However, when he hears news that "Jack Sparrow" is currently on trial in London, he heads off to investigate. Turns out his old pal Gibbs has somehow been misidentified, and in a failed rescue attempt the pair was brought in front of King George and, amazingly, Barbossa, who is now a peg-legged Privateer in the service of the crown. Turns out the Spanish have learned the location of the Fountain, and Jack's map is needed to beat them there. Obviously, the good captain will have none of this, and escapes in typical fashion. Gibbs is not as lucky, and even though he was able to gank the map, it's not quite enough to convince Barbossa to spare his life, so he thinking quickly, he memorizes and burns it. With no other choice, Barbossa sets sail with his new first mate, in quick pursuit of the Spanish fleet. Meanwhile, Captain Jack learns of yet another Jack Sparrow, this one putting together a crew. Investigating this second imposter, he discovers it's one of his old flings, Angelica, who like everyone else, is in search of the Fountain. To make matters even worse, the woman is actually first mate of the Queen Anne's Revenge, the ship of the legendary Blackbeard, the pirate that all pirates fear, and Jack soon finds himself shanghaied into its crew.

Four movies in, Pirates of the Caribbean has an established formula, and On Stranger Tides plays it by the numbers. The heart and imagination is gone, everything from the plot to the fights are watered down. The sword fight in the blacksmith's rafters or atop the rolling the water wheel were amazing scenes. Verbinksi knew the value of less is more, and even though they were larger than life scenes, they were amazing because they were filmed with such simplicity. Rob Marshall doesn't quite get it, and everything from the fights to the plot as a whole are muddled and incoherent. The whole thing is just a shadow of the prior franchise. Even Johnny Depp's Jack Sparrow has lost all the enthusiasm that defined the character; Depp is simply going through the motions, and it's painfully obvious. This is the character that defines the series, so if he's lacking, the whole movie's going down with him.

As Blackbeard, Ian McShane was quite the step down in the villain department. It's not that he gave a bad performance. On the contrary in fact. No, it's just that he wasn't able to give off that intangible sense of dread that the prior antagonists had. Geoffrey Rush and Bill Nighy excelled here, as Barbossa and Davy Jones both made the audience feel like they were a truly threatening force to be reckoned with. Even Tom Hollander's Beckett was able to pull it off, albeit in a more slimy fashion. Penelope Cruz, mirroring something of Sparrow's antihero role, gets the job done nicely, and Geoffrey Rush's Barbossa is always a pleasure, although it's obvious he's beginning to get tired with the role as well.

The powers that be are keen on kicking out a fifth movie, but Johnny Depp doesn't seem to be too interested, and after this one, I'm sure neither are the paying customers. 6/10.
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